UCSD (3-7, 1-4 MPSF) vs. No. 3 BYU (6-3, 4-2 MPSF)
Thursday, February 9 • 7 p.m. (PT)
RIMAC Arena • La Jolla, Calif.
All-time series vs. BYU: BYU leads 35-0
First Meeting: 1/14/89 (BYU 2-0)
Last Meeting: 2/25/11 (BYU 3-0)
2011 Series: BYU 2-0
Last UCSD Win: n/a
Current UCSD Streak: lost 35
UCSD students are admitted free to all regular season home volleyball matches with a valid ID. General admission tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors, visiting students and Alumni Association members. Tickets are available at RIMAC Arena beginning one hour prior to the start of the match.
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If you can't make it to RIMAC Arena for a match, you can still follow the action for free as all home contests will feature a live online video stream as well as live stats. Fans wanting to watch live events now need to sign up for a free Triton Zone subscription at http://bit.ly/Abg2Q1. To get live stats, go to http://bit.ly/fsRBt5.
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Non-Conference Split Last Week
UCSD took a break from league action last week to host Princeton (L 2-3) and play at Hope International (W 3-2), both fiveset matches. UCSD snapped its five match losing streak with the win over the Royals. The Tritons posted their most productive offensive match of the season, hitting .339 with 53 kills and 16 errors in 109 swings. HIU was held to a .217 attack with 53 kills and 23 errors in 138 swings. The Royals struggled mightily from the service line, committing 23 errors. Both teams also sported a big block as UCSD totaled 11.5 and Hope had 10 stuffs. Individually, Triton Carl Eberts led all players with 15 kills. Vaun Lennon was just behind with 14 kills while true freshman setter Tien Le finished with 34 assists. UCSD's middles combined for 15 kills as Sebastian Brady had eight and Fred Stahl seven. Stahl hit .429 (7-1- 14) and added a career-high seven blocks. Cheyne Hayes had three of UCSD's six aces.
Three nights prior at RIMAC, Princeton came back from two sets down to take a 3-2 victory. The match featured 55 tie scores, with only one of those coming in the fifth set. The Tigers posted a .323 (65-23-130) attack percentage and held the Tritons to .213 (65-32- 155) hitting by stifling their offense with 16 blocks. Princeton also had a 44-36 advantage in digs. UCSD committed 17 errors from the service line, but did have four aces while the Tigers had none. Three Tritons hit double-figure kill totals as Lennon led with 18 and was followed by Brady with 14 and Eberts with 10. Brady was the most consistent, recording a .520 attack percentage with only one error in 25 swings. Mike Brunsting had a career-high 59 assists and added four blocks. Libero Chase Frishman had a team-best seven digs.
UCSD Not Listed in AVCA National Poll for First Time
For the first time this season, UCSD did not receive votes or points in the AVCA national poll, released on Monday, Feb. 6. MPSF schools still own 11 of the 15 spots. BYU fell from first to third and was replaced by UCLA, which was third last week. UC Irvine remained in second place. UCSD finished the 2011 season ranked 14th and climbed as high as 11th.
BYU On a Modest Two-Match Losing Slide
The third-ranked Cougars bring a 6-3 overall record and a 4-2 MPSF mark to La Jolla. Brigham Young has been ranked No. 1 in four of this season's six AVCA national polls. BYU is coming off a double loss at home against Stanford, dropping the first match in four sets and getting swept in the second. The Cougars had won six straight prior to the tilts against the Cardinal, with their only other loss coming in their season opener against UC Irvine at UC Santa Barbara's tournament. Taylor Sander, named the MPSF Player of the Week twice already this season, leads the nation with 4.9 kills per set and is tops in the league with 0.5 aces per set and 5.79 points per set. Josue Rivera is averaging 1.35 digs per set and Russ Lavaja has a 1.53 blocks per set average, which ranks third in the nation. BYU has put up a formidable block this year, averaging 2.9 per set to opponents' 1.6 per set. As a team, the Cougars lead the MPSF in assists, averaging 13.6 per set. Joe Kauliakamaoa is ranked seventh nationally, averaging 11.18 assists per set.
The Last Time They Met
UCSD and BYU met twice last season in Provo, Utah. In the opening match, the Tritons came back from two sets down but fell just short, losing in five (25-22, 25-21, 23-25, 29-31, 15-12). It was the first time UCSD had ever won more than one set against BYU. Carl Eberts had a career-high 17 kills and Sebastian Brady had 15, a career-best that still stands. Rob Stowell led all players with 23 kills and 24.5 points while adding five digs and three blocks. Both teams hit well with BYU finishing at .308 and UCSD swinging at .298. The two teams combined for 49 service errors, 26 of those by the Cougars.
The next night, BYU won handily by scores of 25-17, 25-16 and 25-22. The Cougars hit .460 as a team, collecting 38 kills with just nine errors in 63 attacks. UCSD hit .276 (29- 13-58) and was out-blocked 11.5-7. Taylor Sander had a match-high 13 kills and hit .550 while adding four aces. Eberts had nine kills for the Tritons.
The Tritons have totaled six service aces in each of their last three matches ... UCSD has been out-aced just twice this season ... Prior to hitting .339 (53-16-109) at Hope, UCSD's previous best attack percentage was .333 (41-13-84) in a three-set win at Hawaii on Jan. 6 ... Prior to Hope hitting .217, opponents had hit .300 or better in five straight matches against the Tritons ... Sebastian Brady, Mike Brunsting, Carl Eberts and Vaun Lennon have started all 10 matches this season ... UCSD has a .954 reception percentage compared to .934 for opponents ... The Tritons had zero service aces on Jan. 15 at Grand Canyon, the first time that had happened since Jan. 7, 2011.
Right Said Fred
Fred Stahl established several career-highs at Hope International. Playing in just his fourth match of the season, Stahl had seven kills, seven blocks and 10.5 points, all career-bests.
Vaun Lennon has come out of his mini slump. He had 18 kills and hit .278 vs. Princeton and followed that with 14 kills and a .286 attack percentage at Hope International. In his two matches prior, Lennon hit .091 vs. USC and -.133 against Pepperdine.
In the MPSF
As a team, UCSD ranks fourth in the MPSF with 1.13 aces per set and fourth in digs with 8.53/set ... Individually, Mike Brunsting is seventh in the league in aces, averaging 0.4 per set.
On Jan. 6, UCSD upset No. 11 Hawaii in straight sets for its first ever victory over the Warriors in Honolulu. It was also the first time in program history that the Tritons swept the Warriors. Scores were 25-21, 25-21 and 25-22 at the Stan Sheriff Center as Carl Eberts led UCSD with 14 kills, three aces, three digs and five blocks. He hit .478 and totaled a match-high 19.5 points. Greg Smith had a career-high seven blocks.
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